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Best caliber for 14" Custom barrel? Login/Join 


122120



Picture of J A
posted
So, just for argument's sake ( devil ) let's just say a fella was considering getting a new custom barrel for an old-style Contender...
What caliber should be on the wish list? Definitely a game-getter - pigs and deer (of the smaller-bodied Central Texas variety), maybe the occasional turkey or coyote - but would realistically see a lot of it's use at the range.
I've got my own ideas, but let's hear what the people have to say. Cool
 
Posts: 2123 | Location: Austin, Texas | Registered: March 12, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post


061721



Picture of Pa. Mike
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On the light side , Match Grade Machine 15" .223 Rem. with a 1 in 8 twist. If you want to lean towards the heavy side Match Grade Machine 15" 7-30 Waters. Just my 2cents
 
Posts: 643 | Location: South Central Pennsylvania | Registered: February 07, 2016Reply With QuoteReport This Post



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I would look at a 6.5Grendel


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G whiz, it's a Contender or a G2, never was G1!
 
Posts: 2809 | Location: Kansas U.S of A | Registered: November 01, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post



Picture of LoneStar
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The true classic choice is the SSK 6.5 JDJ. Perfect for the target game animals.



.
 
Posts: 748 | Location: Valley of the Sun | Registered: August 03, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post

rooooogar lover

101420



Picture of magman
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I agree 6.5JDJ.


Tim
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Posts: 6873 | Location: Western NY | Registered: May 29, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post






Picture of Magnum Mike
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quote:
Originally posted by jsh:
I would look at a 6.5Grendel


^^ this


mike
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Posts: 19201 | Location: western PA, USA! | Registered: October 30, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post



posted Hide Post
quote:
The true classic choice is the SSK 6.5 JDJ. Perfect for the target game animals.

Amen! thumbup


Good luck and good hunting.
 
Posts: 1351 | Location: Springhill, LA | Registered: November 16, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post


040120



Picture of Bobby Tomek
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Well, you are already set up to load for the 6.5 Bullberry and brass is easy to find, so that effective and mild 30-30 derivative would get my vote.


Bobby
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The most important thing in life is not what we do but how and why we do it. - Nana Mouskouri

 
Posts: 4004 | Location: Shiner TX USA | Registered: November 02, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post



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30-30, 7-30 Waters, 6.5-30-30
 
Posts: 303 | Location: bourbon capitol KY. | Registered: November 23, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post


122120



Picture of J A
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Yeah, the 6.5 is a great choice, either JDJ or Bullberry, but I've already got the 6.5 Bullberry in my go-to carbine. I had a 6.5 TCU Bullberry that was literally boringly accurate. I sort of wish I still had it but it was so redundant with the carbine that it was the right choice to part with it. And, besides... I gave Bobby Tomek all the 225 brass I've ever had so I'd have to scrounge up another supply. Wink

I've been partial to the idea of factory ammo capability and accuracy for times when I just can't load up ammo for any particular outing. My favorites over the years have been 30-30 AI and 44 mag, but I'm really diggin' the 30-30 AI in the carbine I recently put together and I decided to give up 44mag pistol because the recoil just isn't fun for a long range session.

I don't hate the idea of the 7-30 Waters or for that matter a 6 or 7 TCU. I've had both the 7s in the past and really liked them but never had the 6.

I currently have a 223 factory that's shooting pretty well but a match-chambered tack driver might be the way I end up going. I've taken deer with a 223 in 14" and carbine a few times but it's a little light-duty for pigs unless it's accurate enough to be really confident of headshots.
 
Posts: 2123 | Location: Austin, Texas | Registered: March 12, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post



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300 Blackout/300-221/Whisper with a 10 twist and throated for the "lighter" 130-160 grain bullets would be my thought for your stated 14 inch needs. You can buy your ammo for that if you choose to (blasphemy)Blam . I deer hunt with my own home cast bullets though, so that would influence my decision for YOUR needs a bit. I have killed several nice sized Michigan bucks with cast in the 7TCU no troubles, but the 30 cal bullets give me a bit more confidence factor I guess.


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Happiness is a target rich environment.
 
Posts: 291 | Location: Michigan | Registered: September 19, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post


102419



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I always thought a 6.8 would be fun in a pistol barrel. I have a carbine in it and it will shoot better than I can. And factory ammo is always a option with it.
 
Posts: 148 | Location: ga | Registered: December 06, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post


040120



Picture of Bobby Tomek
posted Hide Post
JA-

I do have the batch of 50 cases that you gave me formed and loaded, but in the batch of 48 that I bought from you later on, I still have about 30 unfired. I will gladly pull the bullets, deprime and send them your way if you go with a JDJ. And I could send some fire-formed cases as well. Just say the word...

PS- Did you get to load up and try any of the bullets I sent you?


Bobby
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The most important thing in life is not what we do but how and why we do it. - Nana Mouskouri

 
Posts: 4004 | Location: Shiner TX USA | Registered: November 02, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post



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The 6TCU I wouldn’t call a good hog caliber.
A 30-30AI can get pretty hefty recoil, ya didn’t like 44.
7-30 is decent.
Wild to mild and a good thumper, 38-55 or the 35-30.

I would vote for the JDJ’s but the 225 brass is tough to come by.


---------------------------------
G whiz, it's a Contender or a G2, never was G1!
 
Posts: 2809 | Location: Kansas U.S of A | Registered: November 01, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post



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How about the 25/45 Sharps or the 257 TCU.
 
Posts: 335 | Location: USA | Registered: November 01, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post



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How about the 309 JDJ? Full complement of 30 caliber bullet choices and 444 Marlin brass should not be an issue.
D..
 
Posts: 7 | Location: SE Indiana | Registered: February 27, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post


040920



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For me personally, I'd be looking at the 6.5's, the 7mm's, and the 30 cals.

The 6.5 Grendel has been mentioned but you stated the early style Contender. I don't believe anyone is doing the 6.5 Grendel on the early Contender, but the G2 Contender is being done with a 6.5 Grendel.

Since you mentioned deer and hogs as a game getter, I'd look at any of the 6.5, 7mm, and 30 cals on the old venerable 30-30 case. Just do an improved version for getting some good velocity.

I've done a 30-30AI on the early Contender, as well as the 7-30 Waters. Both were accurate and had good velocity. I always wished I'd done the 309 JDJ simply because that's about as good as it gets for a wildcat on the Contender frame.

If I were picking the cartridge, I'd define the distance I wanted to be able to harvest deer and pigs. I'd also decide how much recoil I wanted to tolerate (muzzle brakes will negate a large part of that). I'd also look at brass availability (or ammo if you don't handload), dies, bullets that perform well in the expected velocity range of the cartridge, and go from there.

Of course, you also have to satisfy the thumping of your heart when it comes to cartridges. Some just make the heart beat differently. Smile


Regards,
Rog (Buttermilk421)


 
Posts: 1540 | Location: Good ol' Oklahoma | Registered: November 27, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post


091219



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Myself being from a straight wall state. I would look at the 350 legend or 357 max. There is also the blackout. All are great deer cartridges up to 200 yards with mild recoil. As for as the 6.5 grendel, great cartridge. I have one made by SSK for original contender.
 
Posts: 388 | Location: Illinois  | Registered: September 12, 2016Reply With QuoteReport This Post


040120



Picture of Bobby Tomek
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I'm going to throw another thought out there: the .300 Savage. It is close to Ackley geometry and well-suited to the Contender as long as one is reasonable in loading. I've had a few folks asking me about the taper of the case in the COntender, but they are thinking about the .250 and 22-250. Above is the .300 SVG flanked by a 30-30 and .308 WCF.

A book-minimum load of Varget gives me 2740 fps with the 125 grain Nosler BT, and the cases -- a bit sooty at the necks after firing the mild load-- are growing hardly at all. In fact, I have a few that have 6 firings on them that still aren't up for trimming. Mine is a 24" barrel, but a good 14" tube will likely get you in the 2500 fps ballpark -- certainly nothing to sneeze at.

You also have the option of the Barnes Tac-TX Blackout/AAC bullets in 110 and 120 grain weights.

Brass is easy to find or make, and I have a batch of .308 and 7-08 that have been reformed and just await trimming. If you go with the Savage, I'll drop 'em in the mail to you to get you started.

Lastly, dies are inexpensive compared to some others.


Bobby
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The most important thing in life is not what we do but how and why we do it. - Nana Mouskouri

 
Posts: 4004 | Location: Shiner TX USA | Registered: November 02, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post


061721



Picture of Pa. Mike
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Lots of 6.5 JDJ fans and I am one also ,,, but ,,,,lots of luck getting a supply of .225 Win. brass ! ohboy
 
Posts: 643 | Location: South Central Pennsylvania | Registered: February 07, 2016Reply With QuoteReport This Post



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Picked up a 6.5jdj, dies, and brass not long ago. Haven't even shot it yet!

Aaron
 
Posts: 2601 | Location: AK | Registered: March 13, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post


120219



Picture of Bobcat
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I would go with either the .30/30 AI or the .277 Wolverine, in the latter I would have a rim recess cut so I could use .357 MAX brass if I wanted to.


------------------------------
I think it better to do right, even if we suffer in so doing, than to incur the reproach of our consciences and posterity.
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Posts: 1773 | Location: Missouri Ozarks | Registered: March 02, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post


122120



Picture of J A
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So, one of the main things that's turned thinking toward a new barrel is that Bullberry Legacy (Troy from the Bullberry shop) is newly open for business and taking orders. I've been mourning the closing of the main Bullberry shop and have been eager to see whether there'd be a taking up of the mantle and determined to order something as soon as I could.

Being a Bullberry barrel that I'm looking to get, the JDJs will have to wait. That still leaves a lot of good options, though. I've decided that I definitely have enough reload-only barrels so whatever I get has to have at least reasonable ammo availability.

-223... Thought about replacing the factory 14" I got recently. At first, it was just okay but it must not have been broken in because the last few times I've take it out, it's given me some really impressive groups. A custom would ultimately shoot better, but probably not by enough to justify replacing.

-25-35...never had one and I'm definitely interested in exploring further. Handloads should give me very reasonable deer-harvesting potential and would be a notch better than the 223 if I ran across the odd porker.

-6.8 SPC...Good, modern round with great ballistics in a 14". I have a set of dies and a lot of 270 bullets. Might be a great choice, if a little bland. Smile

-7-30 Waters...Owned a couple of barrels in the past and always enjoyed the round. Probably the best all-around for a 14" Contender.

-300 Whisper...I have to admit that I'm intrigued. Thinking of something with a little more range, but the notion of a threaded 14" and maybe a supressor is pretty compelling. Cool

-35 Legend... really interesting but I'd have to wonder if it wouldn't be better to just stick with the proven 35 Remington in a single-shot platform.

Haven't ruled out the notion of making a jump to a new carbine barrel instead and replacing my factory 30-30 AI with a custom. It's shooting quite nicely, but a Bullberry 30-30AI tack-driving deer and pig gun would be worth having.

If I still needed a 14" for fun, I could cut down my 6.8 wildcat carbine barrel that I haven't been able to sell. With a little more case capacity than the 6.8SPC, it's a great fit for a 14" and I know it's an extremely accurate barrel.
 
Posts: 2123 | Location: Austin, Texas | Registered: March 12, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post





Picture of KYODE
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I love the 30-30AI. There are many good choices for sure, but i think its a great all around contender cartridge with a lot of bullet options. Bobbys 300 savage is interesting also....as well as JDJs and 7-30. You cant lose, just gotta determine personal preferences.


------------------------
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Posts: 9209 | Location: Northeast Ky. | Registered: October 31, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post



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Here is another vote for the 30-30AI. I have a 14"SS MGM barrel that is just down right accurate. With a dose of IMR 4198 pushing a 125 Nosler BT at 2670 fps it is one really great deer hammer. It really does not have any more felt recoil than my 10" 357 Mag barrel shooting 180 gr XTP with 13.5 grs H110. I have lost count how many deer I have killed with it, will just day 25+. All but one have been bang flops except one. It was a big buck all hyped up during the rut chasing a doe. Shot was about 90 yards with a slight right shoulder toward me broadside. Aimed center of shoulder and fired. Deer shifted his weight to his back legs and jumped straight up head first into the air like a rocket taking off. At the apex of his jump he shook his head back and forth once and then nosed over coming down head first. His chest and nose hit the ground at about the same time and his back legs propelled him maybe 10 yards nose plowing before he was down for the count. I wish I had a video of it. With the results I have had on deer with this set up and load I would not be afraid to take on any animal that lives where I hunt and that includes some pretty good size black bear. At this velocity the 125 BT acts about like a Partition or Accubond does at higher velocities. I have never recovered a bullet from a deer shot with it.
All have been exits and some have been as close as 25 yards and have gone through both shoulders. I used the 125 BT in all my 30 cal. deer weapons. I just keep the impact velocity under 3000 fps and they don't even know what hit them. The bullet starts to exit deer between 2700 and 2800 fps.
 
Posts: 1109 | Location: Tennessee | Registered: December 06, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post


122120



Picture of J A
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I absolutely agree about the 30-30 AI. I had a 14" that was one of my all-time favorite barrels. Only reason I'm not going directly to that for this project is that I re-acquired an extra carbine that I fully intend to keep as a 30-30 AI in perpetuity. It's pretty awesome from a 14" and the gain in a 23-24" barrel puts it in another class.
I'd consider the 7-30 waters again. That was another 14" barrel that I really liked but it got eclipsed and sold off in favor of the 30-30AI.
 
Posts: 2123 | Location: Austin, Texas | Registered: March 12, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post



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Before I decided on my 30-30AI I was looking hard at a 6.5-30-30. The reason I did not want the 6.5JDJ was because of the lack of available 225 Win parent cases. I already have a 6mm-225 Win. and enough cases to do me for it but finding more is VERY HARD. The reason that I did not go with the 6.5-30-30 was cost of custom loading dies compared to over the counter Lee 30-30AI dies. Those custom dies were $$$. Even though with the 6.5 you have a great choice of bullets I think I made the right choice with the 30-30AI.
I have a buddy that has a 7-30 Waters and with 120 Nos. BT is it very accurate and does fine on deer.
 
Posts: 1109 | Location: Tennessee | Registered: December 06, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post



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Take a look at the 30-30 AI or the 7-30 AI. I have had both. Prefer the 7-30 for longer ranges. I would also not overlook the 6.8 SPC but prefer the rimed cases in the Contender.
 
Posts: 3 | Location: South LA | Registered: March 09, 2020Reply With QuoteReport This Post



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My 6BR Encore full bull pistol barrel just arrived from MGM. I'm waiting on my scope mount to arrive. Can't wait to try the barrel and caliber.


Uprisings started or quelled, tornadoes rerouted, elections rigged. Eight generation Texan.
 
Posts: 27 | Location: Paris, TX | Registered: December 31, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post



Picture of big10
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I love my 7-30 Waters barrel, far and away my go-to. I see a lot of folks chiming in with "exotics", or handload only chamberings which is fine. But if I were to get a barrel made now I would lean towards the 30-30 AI. You can shoot factory ammo in it in a pinch and 30-30 is always plentiful even in times such as this when ammo is flying off the shelves, or handload it to get the full potential and it is a 200+ yard game getter.


thumbup Rod
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Posts: 6413 | Location: Northern MN | Registered: February 17, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post



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I have always thought a 25-35AI would be a cool little round in a contender. I just haven’t got around to doing one yet. You could neck down 7-30 waters brass until it just fit the chamber and fireform. You would be able to use any bullet that would work well in a 250 savage. Just an oddball that might be fun.
 
Posts: 120 | Location: GA | Registered: February 05, 2016Reply With QuoteReport This Post


122120



Picture of J A
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quote:
posted March 26, 2020 11:59 AM Hide Post
I have always thought a 25-35AI would be a cool little round in a contender.

That's what I landed on, though probably in the form of a 25 Bullberry. Unfortunately with all this disruption, plans for actually getting a new barrel are on hold indefinitely. Roll Eyes
 
Posts: 2123 | Location: Austin, Texas | Registered: March 12, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post


030121



Picture of Steve E
posted Hide Post
How about a 41 Mag?

Steve......


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Posts: 622 | Location: SEMO | Registered: October 31, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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